Ask yourself: "How has the music I listen to impacted the way I think, feel, and act in the world?"
Music has influence over how people think and feel, and as a result it is a powerful tool. As songwriters and artists, the words we choose and the songs we share with the world affect our culture in deep ways.
Music has equal power to negatively influence people as it has the power to positively influence people. I believe that like fire, music needs to be respected and handled with care. If you are a musician on a microphone, you are in a position of power. The power is yours if you decide you want to be intentional about making positive ripples.
As a young musician from a baptist upbringing, I approached music from a place of trying to serve the world. Early on in my songwriting career I took up the the responsibility of writing songs that help the world in some way. I studied music and social movements as a Sociology major at Georgetown College. One of my first courses as a freshman was Music through Social Movements, where we studied the impact of music on various social movements in the U.S.
Most of us want to live in a peaceful world, but can we really achieve a peaceful world without our main cultural symbols also being peaceful? Can we expect to live in a peaceful world when the music and the TV project violent images? As long as violence is broadcast and proliferated in mainstream media, it will continue to exist in the hearts of us, our elders, and our children.
For me, my music has never been about entertainment or pleasing people, but rather, has been a process of self exploration in trying to understand how to be a good human and live a good life. It has been my hope that my songs could help inspire others to live their best life, or at the very least help them feel not so alone as I share about my own struggles.
I call this songwriting for social causes. Before starting a song, I consider who will listen to it and what the impact will be on that listener. I want to create experiences where people feel really good, as opposed to experiences where people feel really bad.
I have begun teaching workshops on how to write songs like this. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to hear some examples of what I believe to be world changing music? I created a playlist of songs that help me to stay focussed on a positive world.
Listen to my World Changer Playlist here. These are songs I feel are empowering through positive messages.